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Stephen Hawking helps England with World Cup chances

LONDON (AP) - Physicist Stephen Hawking has turned his brilliant mind toward perhaps his toughest challenge yet - helping England win the World Cup.

Britain's most famous scientist, known for his theories on physics and the universe, has been commissioned by a betting company to analyze data from every World Cup that England qualified for since winning the tournament in 1966 in the hope of coming up with a winning formula.

His conclusion: Roy Hodgson's team has the best chance of winning in Brazil if it avoids high temperatures, adopts an aggressive 4-3-3 formation and wears red.

However, Hawking is not betting on England lifting the trophy. The scientist is backing the host to win the tournament, saying "you would be a fool to overlook Brazil. Hosts have won over 30 percent of the World Cups."

He used science to produce two formulas. The first one, taking into account a host of variables, describes the probability of England winning a match and the other addresses the country's penalty chances.

"Ever since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see events as unconnected and inexplicable," Hawking said at a press conference in London, speaking through a voice synthesizer from his wheelchair. "They have craved an understanding of the underlying order in the world. The World Cup is no different."

Hawking, who is almost completely paralyzed by motor neuron disease, said England should use its red uniform in Brazil to boost its chances and play in a 4-3-3 rather than in a 4-4-2.

"Psychologists in Germany found red makes teams feel more confident and can lead them to being perceived as more aggressive and dominant," he said. "Likewise, 4-3-3 is more positive, so the team benefits for similar psychological reasons."

"And our chances of winning improve by a third when kicking off at three o'clock local time," Hawking said.

Turning to penalties, he said the key to success was velocity and that players needed at least a three-step run to the ball. But he added: "Velocity is nothing without placement. If only I had whispered this in Chris Waddle's ear before he sent the ball into orbit in 1990. Use the side foot rather than laces and you are 10 percent more likely to score."

Hawking, who is known for his sense of humor, then said he found it more difficult to make sense of soccer than explain the mysteries of the universe.

"It is hugely complicated," he said. "In fact, compared to football I think quantum physics is relatively straightforward."

Join the discussion

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rexeccoach May 28 2014 at 2:30 PM

It appears some of those commenting miss the humor. Hawking was only stating probabilities and not making predictions. For those making disparaging remarks they are targeting perhaps the most intelligent and insightful person alive today who is focused on discovering the basic operations of the universe.

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8 replies
rlambert30 May 28 2014 at 2:45 PM

Probably one of the smartest men alive today

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10 replies
m4christ2 May 28 2014 at 2:56 PM

this man blew my mind! the bible calls the sky a "scroll". hawking says he descovered it is a fabric and can stretch and have holes punched in it. hmmm, sounds like God was right a few thousand years ago and even though this man thinks he doesnt believe in God, he still is proviing that He is real.

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7 replies
Cory Mann May 28 2014 at 2:20 PM

Soccer sucks. It doesn't take a Stephen Hawking to know that.

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2 replies
frenchiejay Cory Mann May 28 2014 at 4:52 PM

Maybe for you but a lot of us love it. Specially if you were born in South America or in Europe like myself. So ?

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1 reply
siscosdad frenchiejay May 28 2014 at 7:43 PM

So? It still sucks.

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ormarez Cory Mann May 28 2014 at 7:32 PM

You are probably one of those that says "soccer sucks" and then watches the most boring pseudo sport on earth, baseball, the best cure for insomnia.

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3 replies
Linda May 28 2014 at 3:23 PM

Ah, Mr. Hawking, you have caused quite a "stir" I do hope that you are enjoying reading these remarks.....some silly......some stupid........and some quite insightful! And may the ones who stir the nasty and mean comments be made to lick the spoon! I am a huge fan of yours. You be well and continue your quest to enlighten us all, smart OR dumb.

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2 replies
eric Linda May 28 2014 at 4:36 PM

He was goofing around. Marvelous sense of humor.

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pscottparker10231955 Linda May 28 2014 at 8:23 PM

Oh Linda, a common grass grub could probably enlighten you. Go dig a few up and have a meaningful conversation. In the meantime, looking at Hawk I suspect that he needs someone to wipe his fanny on a daily basis. Being that you seem to be his professional kiss butt, perhaps you could sign up to do so on a part-time. Either way, I am not a big fan of a man whose speech exceeds his wisdom and whose hero worship probably led many people away from God. He will, in a relatively short time, find no comfort in his wrongful assertion, as its inaccuracy smacks him square in the face for all of eternity.

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3 replies
knarfdr May 28 2014 at 1:38 PM

He should stick to physics.

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3 replies
Kevin Devaney May 28 2014 at 2:24 PM

He has a nice smile!

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6 replies
elbow423 May 28 2014 at 2:41 PM

If only he could cure ALS

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2 replies
mrjoeped elbow423 May 28 2014 at 2:56 PM

I'm sure he feels the same way. I can't imagine what it's like to be trapped inside your own body.

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Jesus El-Cristo elbow423 May 29 2014 at 12:24 AM

Even this jesus dude can't cure ALS and he's the son of god.

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dennis.perri May 28 2014 at 3:39 PM

16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Acts 16:16-18

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2 replies
sunon dennis.perri May 28 2014 at 8:11 PM

and Arsenal is victorious, one-nil.

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Jesus El-Cristo dennis.perri May 29 2014 at 12:23 AM

Can you prove that any of the crap that you are quoting actually happened? No, I don't think so.
19 I jesus sat on the toilet trying to take a dump, but a young women knocked on the door and said
20 "Oh lord, how long are you going to sit there trying to crap? there are other people that are trying to use the bathroom also."
21 jesus then stood up and without cleaning his ass, walked outside the outhouse and said
22 "if anyone here is trying to take a crap, let them bring their own toilet paper"
23 people began tearing pages from the bible to use for wiping their behinds
24 and jesus was pleased
Acts of jesus 17:19-24

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quark1024 May 28 2014 at 4:36 PM

I find it strange that most people I talk to claim to believe in Free Will, especially when I point out that without it we are only mindless robots going through predetermined motions. But, when I ask these same people if they believe there may be some real psychics (or prophets) who can actually predict the future, then they admit that they do believe it's possible for someone to predict the future. For some reason, these people never seem to understand that there is a logical contradiction in believing in both possibilities at the same time. Hawking knows this and he is having a little fun at the expense of the dummies who think that a physicist with enough brain power can predict the outcome of soccer game.

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3 replies
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